"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Saturday, October 23, 2004

MP3 players

I'm thinking of buying one, preferably with quite a lot of storage capacity, but not too bulky. I know that a lot of techie-minded people are very anti-ipod, but what do they recommend instead? Anyone know?

Fear and Loathing, Campaign 2004

Entertaining piece by Hunter S Thompson in Rolling Stone, apparently written during the optimistic blip following Kerry's debate wins: Fear and Loathing, Campaign 2004.


When young Bush was at Yale in the Sixties, he told the same joke over and over again for two years, according to some of his classmates. One of them still remembers it:

There was a young man named Green
Who invented a jack-off machine
On the twenty-third stroke
The damn thing broke
And churned his nuts into cream.

"It was horrible to hear him tell it," said the classmate, who spoke only on condition of anonymity. He lifted his shirt and showed me a scar on his back put there by young George. "He burned this into my flesh with a red-hot poker," he said solemnly, "and I have hated him ever since. That jackass was born cruel. He burned me in the back while I was blindfolded. This scar will be with me forever."

There is nothing new or secret about that story. It ran on the front page of the Yale Daily News and caused a nasty scandal for a few weeks, but nobody was ever expelled for it. George did his first cover-up job. And he liked it...


"Four more years of George Bush will be like four more years of syphilis," the famed author said yesterday at a hastily called press conference near his home in Woody Creek, Colorado. "Only a fool or a sucker would vote for a dangerous loser like Bush," Dr. Thompson warned. "He hates everything we stand for, and he knows we will vote against him in November."

Thompson, long known for the eerie accuracy of his political instincts, went on to denounce Ralph Nader as "a worthless Judas Goat with no moral compass."

"I endorsed John Kerry a long time ago," he said, "and I will do everything in my power, short of roaming the streets with a meat hammer, to help him be the next President of the United States."

My Life As A Morrisons Employee

Fascinating. My Life As A Morrisons Employee. Sample quote: "it's christmas here at Morrisons and has been since the 3rd September".

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

further to the below

The making of the terror myth

reminder about tonight's telly

The Power of Nightmares
Wed 20 Oct, 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm 60mins

Baby It's Cold Outside

In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares. The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams weren't true, neither are these nightmares.

This series shows dramatically how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion. It is a myth that has spread unquestioned through politics, the security services and the international media. At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neoconservatives and the radical Islamists. Both were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world. These two groups have changed the world but not in the way either intended. Together they created today's nightmare vision of an organised terror network. A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. Those with the darkest fears became the most powerful.

The rise of the Politics of Fear begins in 1949 with two men whose radical ideas would inspire the attack of 9/11 and influence the neoconservative movement that dominates Washington. Both these men believed that modern liberal freedoms were eroding the bonds that held society together. The two movements they inspired set out, in their different ways, to rescue their societies from this decay. But in an age of growing disillusion with politics, the neoconservatives turned to fear in order to pursue their vision. They would create a hidden network of evil run by the Soviet Union that only they could see. The Islamists were faced by the refusal of the masses to follow their dream and began to turn to terror to force the people to 'see the truth'.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Guardian Clark County campaign

Tom - prepare to do no work for the next few hours: 'What WERE you thinking?'

The Guardian's (pretty misjudged) letter-writing campaign gets big Blog reaction.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Team America

Have you heard about this new puppet action movie from the South Park guys. It's either going to be hilarious or absolutely terrible (he says, hedging his bets).

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


Back last night from a few days in St Mawes, Cornwall. St Mawes is fantastic - stayed courtesy these people who I can highly recommend. Enjoyed the Lost Gardens of Heligan v. much - my holiday snaps are up at http://johnmain.fotopic.net.

The Onion Election Guide

And this - might cheer Tom up: election guide.

New Onion Out

I quite like Cheney vows to attack America if Kerry elected. Also, has anyone noticed that the people in the BBC news site's 'Voters Views' panel look strangely like the vox pop panel on the Onion?

Friday, October 08, 2004

More music...

...for the rest of you... ;)

Actually, I had to get Quicktime to play this, and realised how much I hated the damn program. So, if you're sick of Quicktime and Realplayer being just generally crap, go to this site and get Real Alternative and Quicktime Alternative. You won't regret it (this is assuming you've got Windows).

Classical music

I know John is a refined man who'll appreciate some fine classical music, so this site is for him...

Thieves Jargon

The web really is the great last chance saloon for all us frustrated poets

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Blogger templates

I've revisited some of the blog settings - there's now a title field for posts and I've enabled the new "official" blogger comments rather than the third party system that was in place.

Friday, October 01, 2004

House painters star in Tate show.

Shameless lift from the popbitch mailout. Definitely worth watching though - I deliberately avoided the drama thing last week...

Radiation bombs are a government fantasy

Last week’s BBC drama about a dirty
bomb in London has helped keep everyone
terrified about terrorism.

But a forthcoming documentary shows that
dirty bombs are actually a fantasy. The
Americans should know: the CIA tried for
years to make one, before realising that
blowing up radioactive material won't hurt
anyone. Radioactive dust disperses so
quickly you'd need to be exposed to it
for about a year before any real
damage occurred.

The documentary, The Power Of Nightmares,
shows how politicians are using fake stories
like the dirty bomb to keep people scared,
and themselves in power. It also demonstrates
that the claim that Al-Qaeda is a global,
hidden, terror network is also a myth.

So what channel is this BBC-debunking
documentary showing on? Er, BBC2.

The Power Of Nightmares. BBC2, 20th October, 9pm.